Escapist State of Mind
Weekend Escapes
Volos
The City of Argonauts
Perhaps Volos is the most beautiful city of Thessaly, with rich historical momentums that will travel you back to ancient Iolkos, the city of the Argonauts. Nestling at the foot of Pelion Mountain, Volos may have stolen the sparkles of the magic of Centaurs’ mountain. The friendly hospitality, the delicious flavors and the unimaginable views are the main characteristics of Volos that will make you fall in love with this city, in combination with the opportunity to get away from the daily life routine within minutes. Mythology has it that Jason began his search for the Golden Fleece from Volos by organizing the famous expedition of the Argonauts. This lovely city owes its picturesque charm to the lovely seafront of hers, the neighboring Pelion Mountain as well as the famous tsipouradika, a rite that probably started from the refuges of Asia Minor in 1922. Scattered cultural monuments and historical sites unveils the mysterious secrets of Volos; a stroll around the old quarter of the city, the medieval castle and the narrow alleys of the refugee settlement of Nea Ionia will guide you through the genuine architectural beauty of Volos, which suffered from severe consequences after the earthquake of 1955. Nonetheless, lovely Voliotes, the local inhabitants, created a new urban character that has little to envy from the past. Walking through the city, travellers will discover the harmonious coexistence of traditional and contemporary architecture. However, the authentic charm of Volos starts from the seaside promenade passing through Volos Municipal Theatre with the largest scene in the Balkans, the Hall of Volos designed from great Dimitris Pikionis, the neoclassical Municipal Conservatory and the Giorgio de Chirico Art Center, all of which have a great view of the Pagasetic Gulf. One of the most commercial cities of Greece with important naval power and great industrial history, home to the legendary steam train of “Moutzouris” overlooking mainland Greece and the Pagasetic Gulf is, undeniably, a must visit that will win your admiration instantly.

NEED A REASON TO TRAVEL

If you want to escape from your daily life routine, Volos is an ideal destination. Whether you are visiting for a weekend escape or a long haul vacation, it is definite that Volos won’t let you down. Hundreds of tsipouradika hide inbetween the corners and the seafront promenade is adorned from historical buildings worth visiting while interesting museums and amazing art galleries highlight the rich cultural tradition of Volos. Volos’ proximity to Pelion is a reason by itself to choose this city for your vacations. The location of the city by the Pagasetic Gulf will offer you exclusive moments of peacefulness and serenity. Whatever your reason for travelling, Volos is an amazing city escape!

TOP THINGS TO DO

First of all, you should visit the Athanasakeion Archaeological Museum of Volos, one of the oldest museums of the country (1909) housed within a yellow neoclassical building with an interesting collection of findings from the Paleolithic period to Roman times found in the entire georgaphical region of Thessaly. However, one of the most important monuments of Volos is none other than the Folklore Center of Kitsos Makris with a precious collection with treasures of Greece’s folklore tradition. Lovers of culture can also visit the Art Space of Tsalapatas, a unique sample of industrial architecture where the museum of bricks and tiles is housed. It is a must to stroll for a romantic promenade on the seafront overlooking the vastness of the Pagasetic Gulf. Lovers of exploring can stroll around the city in order to discover the varied architecture of Volos. One of the most prominent is the building of Volos Railway Station, an incredible building with mustard facade, triangular roof and green lace details designed from Evaristo De Chirico in 1882. The Railway Museum of Thessaly is housed within the premises of the building. Another important monument is the preserved building of the Bank of Athens, a restored builind of 1925, which now houses the Central Library of the University of Thessaly. Next door you will find the Municipal Conservatory of Volos, a neoclassical building of the 19th century that was built to host the Bank of Epirus and Thessaly, and later the the National Bank of Greece. Just a few meters away, you will find the Giorgio De Chirico Art Center while the lovely building of the Synagogue is located within walking distance. At last, Koumoundourou Street is adorned from the Achillion Cinema, an exquisite building designed from local Constantinos Argyris, who has passed into the realm of classic since it was inaguarated in 1925 and Agios Nikolaos Cathedral with its impresive belfry made from Italian sculptor Previsan in 1884. Cycling aficionados should definetely experience the wonderful cycling rides organized from the Cycling Club of Volos!If you happen to visit Volos on a Saturday, you can visit the Organic Market (07.oo – 14.00 ), next to the fish market, where you will find biological products from producers all over Thessaly. Our favorite was Clementine mandarins and pomegranates from Agios Lavrentios!In a small distance from Volos city, archaeology lovers can visit one of the most important prehistoric settlements of Greece, famous Sesklo, which was first inhabited during the 7th century BC. Finally, make sure to visit the hill of Goritsa with the chapel of Zoodohos Pigi where you can admire panoramic vistas over Volos and the Pagasetic Gulf!

BOUTIQUE HOTELS & ELEGANT SUITES

Whether you are looking for a boutique hotel to stay with your family or you desire to find an elegant suite to stay with your other half, we have drafted a list with the best accommodation choices in the city of Volos! Aegli Hotel is a historic hotel of Volos located at the city center of Volos. Constructed in the 20th century, the hotel has 75 sleeping rooms, 6 of which are luxurious suites, with panoramic views to the Pagasetic Gulf. Another great accommodation choice is Xenia Volos. With absolute respect to the cultural heritage of “Xenia” buildings that had been some of the most brilliant examples of Greek architecture in the 20th century, the hotel, built during the 60’s, is a landmark of post-war modern buildings in Volos. Xenia Volos has distinct aesthetics, which preserve the initial design elements and the glorious prestige of the hotel’s past, creates an idyllic environment of tranquility and relaxation.Hotel Nefeli is a modern and hospitable hotel located in the city center. The warm and nice environment, the 53 fully equipped rooms, the friendly servicing and the perfect service are the elements that established the Nefeli as one of the best hotels in the region. Valis Hotel is yet another beautiful boutique hotel! The spacious, luxurious rooms, the suites, the family apartments with the unique view from the balconies, the aura of aesthetic quality, the gracious, regal decoration, the earthly, natural colors, the comforts and the Italian aesthetic impacts are the basic linchpins for dream holidays that will leave unforgettable memories.

TRADITIONAL TAVERNS AND CLASSY RESTAURANTS

If you are craving for traditional dishes of a genuine tsipouradiko, you should definitely visit Demiris in Nea Ionia (0030.24210.65559). Located on the Efraimidou Street, this tsipouradiko distinguishes for its seafood appetizers. Kavouras on Hatziargyri Street (0030.24210.28520) is one of the oldest tsipouradika of Volos. With more than 70 years of history, Kavouras has maintained its authentic character with delicious mezes from mackerel to lobster and potatoes on ember. Giota (0030. 6947074830) is the heart of the peratzada in Palea that keeps the old traditions alive. Taste fresh shells, delicious pickles, friend monkfish livers, and crunchy squids, followed from a glass of tsipouro! Furthermore, Iolkos (0030.2421.035227) is the meeting point of Volos seaside promenade for lovers of Greek cuisine, fresh seafood and meze for tsipouro. From grilled octopus and stuffed eggplant rolls to fried calamari and fresh fish, Iolkos is a must. At last but not least, Tsardakas on Kyprou Street (0030.24210.45111) is one of the most authentic taverns in the region. Family atmosphere, delicious homemade recipes and traditional specialties. What else you might need?

COFFEE CORNERS & COCKTAIL INSPIRATIONS

Enjoy your afternoon coffee at Xenia Hotel in Portaria (0030.2428.099980) for a lovely sunset view in Volos! When the night falls, head to Alter Ego (0030.24211.09113) for a cocktail. Operating since 1987, Alter Ego carries the stigma of past times when the city itself was different. Spend a ride if you like jazz, rock, blues and the swing.

TRAVEL INFO

Access to Volos is easy from the National Road of Athens – Thessaloniki (319 kilometers) through the exit of Mikrothives or Velestino. KTEL Bus routes operate from Liosion Station in Athens. Those who prefer travelling by train, they should pick up the train from Athens with an interchange at Larissa station.

MYSTERIOUS GREECE TIP

The rite of tsipouro has probably started from the refuggees of Asia Minor in 1822. If you visit Volos, you ought to visit one of the oldest tsipouradika of Volos to understand the uniqueness of this wonderful rite.

Photo Credits
Agios Konstantinos Church: Aekthanos by Flickr Athanasakeion Archaeological Museum: NT750V by Flickr Bicycling Routes: G Ganotopoulos by Panoramio Cloudy: Vagelis Xenos by Skaikairos.gr Fullmoon nights: Panos Germanis by Flickr Moutzouris Train: Nikos Kantiris by Flickr Old Trains: Alan Williams by Flickr Sunrise: Vagelis Xenos by Skaikairos.gr The port: Thanassis Germanos by Panoramio View of Volos from Agios Vlasios: Vagelis Xenos by Skaikairos.gr Volos by night: Valadis Kostas Papadopoulos by Flickr Volos Sunset: BillKark by Panoramio